Smokeless tobacco products

Smokeless tobacco products can cause cancers, chromosomal damage, infections and death. There is a ban on supplying these products in Australia. However, individuals may import a limited amount for personal use.

About smokeless tobacco

Smokeless tobacco is available in several forms:

  • oral snuff – ground tobacco held in place in the mouth and sucked. Snuff can be loose or in a ready to use sachet much like a teabag designed for sucking.
  • paste and powder – tobacco ground down to paste or powder and applied to the teeth or gums.
  • chewing tobacco – a loose leaf, plug tobacco or twist chewing tobacco chewed by the user.

Risks and injuries

Smokeless tobacco products are absorbed into the user's system through sucking or chewing. They can carry levels of nicotine equivalent to or greater than those found in cigarettes.

Studies have shown a link between the use of smokeless tobacco products and a variety of diseases and infections including:

  • pancreatic cancer
  • oral cancer
  • pharyngeal cancer
  • local lesions in the mouth.

Buying tips

  • Smokeless tobacco products are banned from sale in Australia but may be imported for personal use (i.e. not for the purpose of supply) in an amount weighing not more than 1.5 kilograms.
  • For more information about the process for importing smokeless tobacco products and the cost of any import duty payable, contact the Australian Border Force.